Monday, October 20, 2014

Bad Blogger!

I confess!  I have been a bad blogger lately.  I have been working on a project and experimenting with options for it. Since it is for a blog hop later, I can't show it yet.  I have spun some yarn and ordered a lovely drop spindle.

And done a bit of weaving - using an inlay technique that allows me to "paint shapes" in the fabric.  
My sewing machine has been calling my name.  I now have a commission quilt to work on also.  So I should be getting back to sewing this week. (yaay)

I am very happy to tell you that the Lapel Stick promotion has been extended until the end of this week, October 25th.  So you can still catch this great bargain.

Lapel Stick Promo



This is a great bargain.  I used my lapel stick just this weekend to attach a fabric bow onto a cloth bag that contained a birthday gift.  The uses for Lapel Stick are truly limited only by your creative imagination.  



My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Design Wall Monday

After showing the tutorial on quick half square triangles, I made a few more and did this simple layout.
oops my picture is a bit crooked!
Now I have to decide whether to make more and make a quilt or add just a bit more and make a table runner.  I am linking up with Patchwork Times Design Wall Monday.

If you are looking for the Lapel Stick special deal here is a quick recap.
You can get a box of Lapel Stick - that is 40 Lapel Sticks  - for only $50.    This is an amazing deal.  The price includes Fed-Ex shipping with tracking. This offer expires on October 20th.

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fast HSTs - And a DEAL

I had lots of comments and some email discussions on HSTs (half square triangle blocks.)  There are many methods to make HSTs.   I think I may have tried them all.  Some have you marking a line or several lines on the back of the fabric like I showed in 2009.   Most of them are truly easier than cutting triangle pieces and sewing them together

A couple of years ago, I saw a video from Missouri Quilt Company on making four at once with NO drawing lines.  It is super easy and as accurate as your quarter inch seam.  However, if you are going to trim them, that is easy to adjust also.

I find that sometimes the pieces want to shift, especially when I am pivoting at the corners.  So, I have typically pinned them.  But now - No more pinning!   I decided to try using the Lapel Stick glue that I reviewed.  So let me show you what I did.

First I pulled out a layer cake and of course my Lapel Stick.
 I chose two squares from the layer cake with nice contrast.
After putting down a sheet of wax paper to protect my sewing table,  I placed the darker square on the wax paper.  I glued at the corners -about an inch each way.
And at the center of each side - again about an inch.
You can see the glue here but it is almost invisible and it washes away completely.
Next, I placed the light colored square on top with the fabrics right sides together.  Then I finger pressed the areas with Lapel Stick to hold it in place.
Next I sewed a quarter inch seam around all four of the outside edges, carefully pivoting in the corners.
Once sewed, the block is cut diagonally.
Line up the ruler so that your rotary blade will cut exactly into the corner seam.  Then rotate the block without shifting it. (I used a rotating mat so I didn't have to pick up the block at all.)  Next cut the other diagonal.
 When you open these up you will have four HSTs. You can then trim them to size.  With the 10" layer cake blocks, I got a 6 3/4" HST that I will trim to 6 1/2"  This will make a perfect 12 inch finished block.
Jean mentioned that the outside edges are now bias cut.  I always starch first.  But the bit of stretch allows me some "fudge room" when I am joining the squares. I find it a plus rather than a flaw.  Of course you should avoid stretching those edges.



Keith at Lapel Stick is offering my readers a fantastic deal on Lapel Stick.  You can get a box of Lapel Stick - that is 40 Lapel Sticks  - for only $50.    The retail price on these is somewhere in the range of five dollars each, so this is an amazing deal.  The price includes Fed-Ex shipping with tracking.
I think that this deal is too good to miss.  I rarely pin anymore except for garment sewing.  No more pins sticking me is a good thing.
This offer is good until October 20, 2014.   You could buy a box of Lapel Stick and have a gift for everyone in your Guild or sewing group.  I hate to mention it, but Christmas and Hanukkah are approaching quickly. If your group does a Halloween party, you could use these for "Trick or Treat" also.  But then again, you may want to keep them all for yourself after you have found how much easier they make your sewing.


My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Play Time - Half-square Triangles

After seeing that Wanda at Exuberant Color  had made a few half-square triangle blocks, I decided to make a few and play with them.  I conveniently made them the same size as my blocks for the Charming Batik squares.   I will probably use them in that project to add another shape to the mix.

But today, I used my blocks to play with layouts.

Squares on point. 

Zipper (my name for this one as I don't know what it is called) 

Pinwheels
There are multiple ways you can do a layout using half square triangles.
I found the image below from a computer programmer who used PERL (programming language) to make symmetrical blocks.
You can also make non-symmetrical blocks...  Imagine the possibilities.  Now don't you want to make some half-square triangle blocks and play?

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Using some Stash Fabric

I had a great reason to use up some stash fabrics.  There is so little we can do in some instances to help someone. When we have the opportunity, we should grab it and rejoice.

I took some Connecting Threads leaf print, some batik, some Kaffe Fassett print and a solid pink from my stash.  I cut it up and sewed  these caps.  I hope they make the recipient feel lovely.  I understand that Chemo can be painful, both physically and emotionally.

I have lost some of my hair but it has been over years - not days as a chemo patient can lose hair.   I have been blessed with generally good health for all of my life. For that I am so thankful.

So it is with joy that I share my talents for those who are not so blessed.  I always like to find out what colors a person enjoys when I am making these caps. I was told pinks, blues and aquas were good colors for her. So I searched my stash for pinks, aquas and blues.  The Kaffe print is more pink than it appears in this photo. I truly hope that wearing these chemo caps bring some small comfort.

Remember to do good in all that you undertake for in doing so you bring joy to others and to yourself.

My blog is http://blog.geneblack.com
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated.